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Common Stalk Borer
(Brian Christine, Purdue University)
Common Name: Common Stalk Borer

Order: Lepidoptera

Family: Noctuidae

Pest Status: Common stalk borers are notorious pests of corn, but can also damage other crops and ornamental plants such as tomatoes and certain flowers.

Appearance: Adult moths are gray-brown in color with small, white spots along the front edges and along the tips of the forewings. The hind wings are pale gray-brown.

Life Cycle: Females lay their eggs singly or in groups on grasses in late summer/early fall. The eggs overwinter and hatch in late spring when the larvae bore into the stalks of grasses and begin feeding. The adult moths emerge in early fall.

Where to Collect: Adults can be found near damaged host plants such as grasses, vegetables, fruits, and flowers. Larvae can be found by unrolling curled, damaged leaves of host plants.